April 22, 2019
Government school teachers were urged to promote English as a medium of instruction. The recently English medium was introduced in 1000 government schools by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy
There was widespread opposition from the Kannada activists to the introduction of English as a medium of instruction from Class 1 level. However, there is no objection to include English as one of the languages in the curriculum.
Views of the head of Karnataka Abhivruddhi Pradhikara (Kannada Development Authority) and others are shared below.
SG Siddaramaiah Chairman, Kannada Development Authority
I am against this move. It might result in the erasure of our language. We have nothing against English as a subject. It is necessary. But, it shouldn’t become the medium of instruction. If English becomes the medium, a day might come when Kannada will be forgotten completely.
The government can introduce English as a medium of instruction from Class 7 but from class 1, Kannada has to be the medium.
A UNESCO study says children who get primary level education in their native language has a higher IQ than those studying in a foreign language.
A government school in Sira (near Tumkur), which had just three or four children, now has 800 because of the special interest taken by a headmaster. If a teacher can turn things around, why can’t the government? Anil Shetty, President of Nav Bharat Democratic Party
Children must be given a choice to choose between both the mediums. The government is not following the state education policy recommended by the Karnataka Knowledge Commission. They should do it.
It says, “Build an equitable, inclusive and futuristic education system which will bring balanced and high-quality education uniformly across the state and spur higher education in a big way.” Vasu, English lecturer
I am in charge of a government school in KR Pete. How can some random officer who sits in an AC room decide what’s good for us? How does that even work? I am here at the ground level and I know the problems.
The government must provide uniforms, notebooks, and washrooms, and then think about introducing a new medium. Who is going to teach in English medium? The same teachers? How is that going to make any difference? If a Kannada-language teacher is given an English textbook and asked to teach, how is he going to do it? The quality will go down. One teacher per school has been assigned for training. Once they come back, there is no one to certify whether they are fit to teach in English.
Vasant Shetty, Founder, Munnota Book Store (only bookstore dedicated to federalism) If we question ourselves as to which model of government suits us, the answer is federalism. India is a diverse country and a group of people sitting in Delhi can’t implement laws, hoping for our betterment.
The implementation of RTE (Right To Education) act by the central government has resulted in closing down of many government schools in Karnataka. Our city doesn’t have good schools now. Even if we want our kids to go to a Kannada medium school, we do not have an option. Studies have shown that children will grasp things faster if taught in the language they converse in their cognitive abilities and conceptual thinking will also improve if they learn in their mother tongue.
Countries like Germany, China, and the USA administer their respective languages as the medium of instruction. Veeranna Madiwalara, Teacher, Govt Primary School Introduction of English medium was unnecessary. If you look at the budget, a lot of money is allocated for textbooks. If all the money were used properly, we would have got first class textbooks.
Where is all the money going? Schools lack proper classrooms and clean washrooms. The government is providing shoes and socks when children don’t even have notebooks. Raghavendra Poojari, Programme co-ordinator, B.PAC I studied in a Kannada-medium government school. I faced difficulty overcoming my inferiority complex at not being able to speak good English. The knowledge we possess has no value unless we are able to express it in good English. It is good that government school children finally have access to English medium education. This should have been done long ago.
Government schools are seen as being meant for underprivileged children. To face global competition, English-medium education is necessary. Parents want to see their kids converse in English. That is why they don’t send them to Kannada-medium schools.
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